This week, I've been considering these questions: what is the purpose of communication in its many forms? Why do we bother trying to communicate with other humans using symbols - verbal or nonverbal?
Perhaps take a moment to answer that question for yourself. I would love to hear the wisdom you tap into by taking a moment to ask yourself before reading my opinion....(and send me your ideas, so I can learn too!) As artists, we use symbols to communicate with an audience for our profession. Why?
Communication is about relationships.
Many view connection as a human need. Though we would not die without human connection, it is hard to imagine a meaningful life without it.
Our ancestors' desire for connection and unity provided safety and protection in numbers. To be alone was to be more vulnerable to danger.
Some quotes from the book Introduction to Rhetorical Theory by Gerard A Hauser that I found relevant and interesting:
"Practical choices necessarily involve questions of value. Since values are involved, the personal and social stakes in these matters run high. We are confronted with choices because values differ among people.
"Problematic matters impel us to consider the alternatives available to us and to use prudent judgment in making a decision. Usually these decisions are about actions we should take."
" The action in a rhetorical event is that of uniting with or dividing from each other based on the way we talk about things."
So communicating ideas presents us with opportunities to respond, either by uniting with the presenter of the idea, or dividing from them. So our attempts to communicate are bids for connection.
Marconi, who invented wireless transmission, was referred to an insane asylum for claiming he had discovered a way to send messages through the air, without wires or any form of direct physical means. We now live in a society that is very accepting and open to new ideas. It's also easier to find and connect with people who share our same values and ideas through the internet.
Art helps us to not feel alone in the world and find "our people" and connect with them in meaningful ways, even people who have long since passed on. I personally feel deeply connected to Robert Frost even though we've never spoken, and he is no longer alive.
So I guess, I send these emails to connect with you and understand where we disconnect, because seeking understanding of differences is another opportunity to connect. I would love to know what you think and what artists you feel deeply connected to.
Have a great week,